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Leveraging aid to Egypt could lead to leveraging aid to its neighbor — Paul Pillar

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Paul Pillar writes in the National Interest that the peace treaty is not in danger because Egypt will never take on Israel. But Israel and the lobby are using fear of such an outcome, strife between the countries, to push the US to continue aid to Egypt. Why are they fearful that Washington will cut off aid? 

This subject leads to what may be the strongest motive for the Netanyahu government to oppose squeezing the flow of aid to Egypt, although it would not openly acknowledge it as a motive. The Israeli Right has to be discomfited by any thought of the United States using leverage based on a major aid relationship in that part of the world to get the recipient to change destructive policies. It is the failure of the United States to use the even greater leverage it could exert on Israel that permits Netanyahu’s government to continue the occupation and colonization of conquered territory and, 35 years after Camp David, to deny the Palestinians self-determination.

And Pillar says the Israelis don’t want anyone looking into the terms of the treaty anyway. That could only result in buyer’s remorse, for the broken promise to Palestinians.

Some in the Israeli government may be thinking of a possible downside for them of emphasizing the idea that the peace treaty is endangered. This idea may bring to mind how the U.S.-Egyptian aid relationship is rooted in the bargains struck by Jimmy Carter at Camp David, in which voluminous U.S. assistance to Egypt was part of the price the United States paid to get Sadat to assume the costs and risks of making a separate peace with Israel. That in turn may bring to mind how Israel did not fulfill its part of the bargains, which was to make a peace with the Palestinians within five years and withdraw Israeli troops from Palestinian territory.

A related argument was made by Russ Douthat in last week’s Times. He said we’re getting nothing but trouble for our aid to Egypt, so it’s time to “Let our client go“– cut off aid, because it is damaging us in the eyes of Egyptians and the world. As you read Douthat’s argument, consider how much of it is applicable to Israel. I wonder when he’ll get to that aid? Douthat:

Client governments are never as tractable as their patrons in far-off capitals expect, and a great power that thinks it’s buying influence is often buying its way into trouble instead…

Even absent an actual military footprint, we’ve been dragged permanently into Egypt’s domestic politics, where we’re seen — for understandable reasons as well as conspiratorial ones — as the real power behind whatever the state decides to do. In the 1980s and 1990s, that seemed a price worth paying…

[Today] the cost of being intimately tied to the military regime is getting higher, and the window for demonstrating that America’s favor really is conditional is closing fast.

Right now, the Obama administration is trapped by its client state the way that great-power patrons often are. Because our aid to Egypt is our most obvious leverage over its military, and because we can really only pull that lever once, Washington is afraid to follow through and do it.

But leverage can be lost through inaction as well. If we can’t cut the Egyptian military off amid this blood bath, we’re basically proving that we never, ever will.

Yes and what has Israel colonization done to our international image?

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10 Responses

  1. Citizen
    August 26, 2013, 11:50 am

    The US bribed treaty has kept a peace between Egypt and Israel for many decades in contrast to before the treaty, when, what Egypt was at war with Israel 5X? Israel has been blessed with Egypt keeping it secure on that border all these decades, not to mention the discounted Egyptian gas it has received that the common Egyptian did not get, and all the while Israel has not been asked to honor its treaty promises concerning the Palestinians. This deal is like all deals the US makes regarding Israel, whether its the USA’s first free trade agreement (US lets in Israeli imports for free, while Israel gets to impose heavy customs duties on US imports), or all the MOUs that the US and Israel signed onto, all of them heavily in Israel’s favor. AIPAC cash donations, combined with withholding of same from contrary opponents, are king, partnering with the AIPAC-controlled US mainstream media hasbara.

    Mayer Rothschild’s observation on macro are the key to discern why things are as they are. There’s no more goy royalty, but money is the king, and who’s got more to spend on a single issue than, say, Adelson or Soros? Or the entire Israel lobby as outlined by Mearsheimer & Walt?

    • American
      August 26, 2013, 1:37 pm

      Reminds me of what Hyman Roth said to Michael Corleone in The GodFather in the scene on the terrace of the Havana Hotel in Cuba.

      ”Here we are, protected, free to make our profits without Kefauver, the goddamn Justice Department and the F.B.I. ninety miles away, in partnership with a friendly government. Ninety miles! It’s nothing! Just one small step, looking for a man who wants to be President of the United States, and having the cash to make it possible. Michael, we’re bigger than U.S. Steel. ”
      ―Hyman Roth to Michael Corleone

      The next day they lost their partnership wth the Cuban Government because of Castro’s revolution.
      But now the Zionist Mafia has a even bigger Government partnership with the USA.
      Where’s our Castro?

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        August 26, 2013, 4:09 pm

        “Where’s our Castro?”

        That’s what the bread and circuses are for. So long as the Americans are reasonably prosperous and distracted, they have a dog in the fight to maintain the system. Without the Cuban people, Castro loses. One of the things that Jon Lee Anderson’s masterful biography of Che Guevara (highly, highly recommended) demonstrates is how oppressed the people in the Cuban countryside were, and how simple things like treating someone’s sickness, as a physician like Che could do, or even treating them with basic human dignity, could win villages. The US is not in that bad a shape.

  2. American
    August 26, 2013, 12:12 pm

    “That in turn may bring to mind how Israel did not fulfill its part of the bargains”……Pillar

    I think the people who (really) count in this (in DC and on the pertaining committies mostly I-Firsters) are aware and naturally dont care.
    Maybe the best we can hope for is that Isr (and others) continue to ‘complicate’ and cost the US in the ME until we are so totally boxed in anything we would do would be a total lose, a win course of action not even remotely possible —so that we are paralyzed into inaction and have to start shedding our ME entanglements–which would include our most troublesome and costly one, Israel.

    • American
      August 26, 2013, 12:25 pm

      A ‘serious” confrontation with Russia would be one thing that might bring amazing clarity to even some hawks and neo lib interventionist.

      • Citizen
        August 26, 2013, 7:03 pm

        It won’t happen under Putin; except by way of PR bluff because he’s way too smart; he knows Russia is not the USSR, although he wished it still was. Still, he could bluff it, and see if his threats by pass the US regime and instill anxiety in the American populace to withdraw USA’s 1% claws.

      • American
        August 28, 2013, 11:01 am

        Citizen says:
        August 26, 2013 at 7:03 pm

        It won’t happen under Putin; >>>>>>>

        I agree—-he wont get in a military conflict in the ME–no gaint benefit to Russia in it.
        What he (and China) are doing is working to “de-legitimize” the US around the world. Not that he needs to work very hard at it.
        Russia and China are the new supporters of international law, fairness and ‘cooperation ” with the world –the US is now the old USSR and the old China.
        Thats the message to all countries who are looking to form economic or other alliances with the major countries–who you gonna trust?—the mad dog USA or we who support the law, fairness and diplomacy?

  3. bilal a
    bilal a
    August 26, 2013, 8:01 pm

    Israel’s neighbor and ally::

    Have crimes against humanity been committed in Egypt?
    By Charles R. Kennedy Jr, Special to CNN

  4. RoHa
    August 26, 2013, 9:48 pm

    “Egypt will never take on Israel”

    “Never” is a long time.

  5. yrn
    August 27, 2013, 6:40 am

    DAMASCUS, Syria — Syria on Tuesday said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was lying when he stated there was “undeniable” evidence of a large-scale chemical attack likely launched by Damascus, accusing him of disregarding the work of U.N. investigators.

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